Saturday, March 10, 2012

Occupy My Own Life

The Occupy Salt Lake City encampment, before they
were cleared out by the city.

I have a great deal of sympathy for the Occupy Movement, but I could never be involved.  The reason is I have things that are more important for me. I have a daughter that will gain an entire life by me being home and teaching her how to live so that she cares about others in a personal way. 

In addition, my wife was being treated for cancer at the height of the Occupy Movement. My greater responsibility was to support her and give her the help she needed to get through alive.

But even without the worries of my family, I couldn't be involved because I have something better to give than days and weeks at a time demanding change from people who don't care. I have a skill that I can teach that can change people's lives.

Each time I work with a new client on a design, I teach them how to make life better for themselves by giving them the choice to be involved in growing their own food. I give them a chance to see how they effect their neighbors by how they care for their lawn. And, how they can change that by taking out the lawn altogether.

I also work with several non-profit agencies giving low cost classes and seminars. I can't say I've truly helped more than a handful of people, but I know I am moving in the right direction. 

Now, I have begun to wonder, what if just a few of those protesters with specialized skills were to join me to teach others. I am sure there must have been a few folks with legal and financial skills that could have stepped out of the protest ranks, for a least a little while, to teach classes on how to improve local financial situations.

I can't give you details on these systems because I don't understand them well. I've read about them, but they seem to be ignored by the larger world of big government and big capitalism. 

Unfortunately, real solutions are rarely found by just protesting. They are found by people who take the next step and actively find new solutions which can be implemented from the bottom up. That is my job. Now that things are less active in the protest arena, I hope a few others will join me. Maybe with a lot of hard work and time we will make some real changes together.


  1. Very nice. It's a lot easier to tear things down than to build things up. I'm glad you're building.

  2. Well said. I also empathize with many of the protesters' intentions, but as you've said, a bigger difference is ultimately made by occupying one's own agency. Go, Alex. Go, teachers. Go, people in motion.